This article series shares the eighth of eight show biz based entertainment techniques that will help you deliver more engaging presentations.
In the prior article of this series, The seventh of eight entertainment techniques for more engaging presentations, we discovered that the entertainment industry knows how to harness humor and suggested that presentations should too.
Entertainment industry technique eight: Perfect your Performance
Many learning professionals do not feel the need to rehearse. “Why bother? It’s there on the PowerPoint® anyway.”
The seven techniques listed in the prior articles in this series will not save a poor performer. Entertainers who cannot behave professionally and deliver inconsistent performances do not last.
Professional performers that they are so good at what they do that the casual viewer can conclude anyone could deliver the performance. The reality is quite different. Professional performers are professional precisely because they can hide the effort it takes for them to deliver a casual looking performance. They make it look easy when it is not.
During the performance, the performer must be focused on the audience, and the emotional connection they are trying to make, not the mechanics of the performance.
- The musician must instinctively know where the notes are on his instrument.
- The actor must instinctively know all the nuances of her character.
- The comedian must instinctively know the timing that makes his punch line funny.
- The magician must move his hands in unnatural ways in the most causal manner.
In all the cases above, the professional performers do this through mind numbing rehearsal. This practice teaches the mechanics of the performance so well that the details get delivered without conscious thought. Athletes call it being in the flow.
All of us have experienced flow. Often it’s while our subconscious drives our car home for us. When we know something so completely that we can perform it without conscious effort, we can begin to focus on the can take over, Presenters should know their material so well that they can focus on the message, not the mechanics.
The attendees are, after all, the sole reason for the performance. They deserve our full attention. Our level of professionalism in delivering material is directly tied to the level of attention our learners pay to us. Like those performer examples mentioned above, we should practice; practice some more; and practice even more.
In the same way our subconscious knows how to drive our car home, we should know our material, our slides, our learning outcomes so well that we can then place our focus where it should be, on our learners. For all these reasons, learning professionals should perfect their performance.
We should bother. Very few of us are good enough to devote full attention to our learners AND the mechanics of our performance. Your learners deserve your undivided attention. Know your material so well that you can focus on the message, not the mechanics. Perfect your Performance.
Follow all eight techniques listed in this article series and you can make your program an irresistible invitation to learn. It will be a performance to remember. And remember is, after all, what we want our attendees to do.
Future articels will expand on this article series. For continuling tips and suggestions on ways to apply these eight entertainment techniques to your presentations, come back for the sequels.